I am just retiring out of the Army after 38 1/2 years.  I have spent more time in the Middle East the last 10 years than I have in the states.  With that said, after dodging bullets, mortars. rockets, and IEDs I have aprehensions about traveling the waters of the Caribbean unarmed.  Better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.  I am just interested to find out from people that have sailed the Caribbean waters their feelings on having firearms on board, of if they have had difficulties with the varrious authorities in regards to firearms or any other matters.  I have read up on the restrictions of the islands and don't want to create any problems.  On a side note I was wondering if anyone has been hassled or boarded by authorities.  I plan on hitting a lot of islands on my voyage, and the issue of firearms is one of my planning factors.  I welcome all advice and comments about this matter or anything else in regards to the trip.

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If you think you will need guns to feel comfortable in that environment, then maybe it is not where you should go.
Tom, if you think there are not evil doers in the Caribbean think again. Last year in Belize after a 2 day storm a body washed up on the beach in front of my cabana, he was capped in the forehead. 2 years ago I was on a dive trip to Jamaca, I watcheal authorities fish a body out of the water. He too was capped in the forehead, conicidence, I think not. I have several friends who work for law agancies that have dealings in the Caribbean, they have informed me of varrious incidents. Just be aware there are people out there that do not share you values, I hope you don't encounter any. Safe sailing, Jeff
Be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone in the room. lol
Good plan, should I make an exception to that if we are in the same room? The only intent of killing is that of my weaker brain cells. The alcohol attacks the weaker brain cells, leaving the stronger brain cells to survive, thus making you smarter. Thanks for the sound advice, Jeff
Hey Jeff,

You might consider one of these for use a first response tool: Should the event escalate and require the next level of force then resort to Plan B (.45).

s/v wetted bliss
Hi Jeff,

This is an age old question when cruising the Carib. We did that for 15 yrs. from Florida to Trinidad and did not have weapons aboard. We were reasonably careful, the same as you would be in any strange country or city, and encountered no problems. All of the island nations in the Carib. will demand that you surrender any weapons you may have aboard for safekeeping to be picked up when you leave their country. They will also prosecute you very vigorously if you do not declare them and then get caught with weapons aboard. I am not anti-gun, own long guns myself, but I would sincerely advise against carrying weapons on your boat.

John Storring
Haha - I like this warning:

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Aside from the matcho issues..., I wonder how many times having a gun actually saves life. If the perp has the jump on one, drawing a gun might get you dead. If you have a 50 cal on the rail them maybe that won't happen, but the feds will be looking.
Bring peace and you will have no trouble.
I too am a gun owner and ex military. Know that IF the authorities find a weapon on board they not only can prosecute they will probably take your boat immediately, bummer. Second if the bad guys come armed and ready to use, they outnumber you and have the upper hand if they come in the dark of night. Is a firefight in your our your spouses best interest? Yes there are bad guys everywhere, be careful, find alternate ways to defend yourself, be creative I am sure that you have experience in being creative. That is what we are planning on doing when we get to your position in a couple more years. let me know how things go for you.
My husband and I have been sailing the caribbean for the past 5 yrs. We carry no firearms, just what you'd expect to find in any galley. We do have a machete on board used mainly while hiking. We do make a concious effort to keep up to date about the islands we visit and the situations in each. Thus far we have had no problems. Unfortunately I can't say the same for some of the people we have met. One of whom was shot and killed with no provocation or forewarning. Yes it does happen in some places. Since the authorities usually confiscate any weapons while in their respective waters it doesn't make a lot of sense to carry them. Most of the incidents we have seen and been told of usually happen while in anchorages. A few have happened during transits, its a real mixed bag. Feel free to email me if I can provide any further info for you. It really is magical down here. Still much safer than the big cities back in US & Canada.


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